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Monday, 2 March 2020

Jonstown Jottings #9: Stone and Bone

Much like the Miskatonic Repository for Call of Cthulhu, Seventh Edition, the Jonstown Compendium is a curated platform for user-made content, but for material set in Greg Stafford's mythic universe of Glorantha. It enables creators to sell their own original content for RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha and HeroQuest Glorantha (Questworlds). This can include original scenarios, background material, cults, mythology, details of NPCs and monsters, and so on, but none of this content should be considered to be ‘canon’, but rather fall under ‘Your Glorantha Will Vary’. This means that there is still scope for the authors to create interesting and useful content that others can bring to their Glorantha-set campaigns.


What is it?
Stone and Bone is a short scenario set in Dragon Pass wherever Shamans may be found.

It is a twenty-four page, full colour, 20.30 MB PDF with a one-page, full colour 2.79 MB addendum.

Stone and Bone is well presented with decent artwork and clear maps. It needs a slight edit in places.
Where is it set?

Stone and Bone is set in Prax amongst the Straw Weaver Clan of the Bison tribe during the dry season. Notes are included to enable the Game Master to set it elsewhere.

Who do you play?
Praxians who are members of the Straw Weaver Clan. A shaman and at least one Storm Bull worshipper will be useful. Notes are included to run the scenario using other character types, including non-Praxians.

What do you need?
Stone and Bone requires RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. Access to the RuneQuest: Glorantha Bestiary may be useful for information about Scorpion Men, but is not essential to play.

What do you get?
Stone and Bone is a scenario with a strong focus on survival, stealth, and combat. It takes the form of a guard mission to accompany the clan’s shaman, Erhehta, on a journey to a ritual place in the No Salt There hills. The crotchety old sod will not reveal the exact reasons for the journey, nor will he prove to be particularly quiet—he is festooned with bones, and they rattle—or helpful. If necessary, the reasons will be revealed and if the player characters seem reluctant, there is room for negotiation in terms of reward.

The journey itself will be challenging and the player characters will need the Survival skill and hunting-related skills as it does take place during the height of the dry season, so there is little water to be found or food to be foraged. The likelihood is that this will place them at a disadvantage when they find something blocking their path—an old mining village cut literally into the rock of a ravine which has been occupied by a brood of Scorpion Men. One option would be to sneak their way through the village, but the player characters will have to do this on the way to the ritual site and on the way back… If they fail, a fight or a chase scene may ensure, but anyway, who wants a nest of Chaos on their doorstep?

The Scorpion Men-occupied village is the key action scene for Stone and Bone and so is described in some detail and accorded a nicely done map. There is solid advice for the Game Master on running encounters both in and out of the abandoned village, enabling her to scale them according to the danger encountered by the player characters so far. Along with a full write-up for Erhehta—an experienced NPC, Stone and Bone includes stats for some bothersome NPCs, the scenario’s antagonist, and some scuttling monsters.

The extra PDF lists adaptations to RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha of 
Bagog Rune spells taken from the RuneQuest Classic supplement, Cults of Terror. These are spells used by the protagonist in Stone and Blood.

Is it worth your time?

Yes. Stone and Bone is a well written, useful, and challenging scenario if you are running a campaign set amongst the Tribes of Prax. Especially if the player characters include a shaman amongst their number.
No. If your campaign is not set in Prax, then Stone and Bone is harder to use, especially as the time of year and the environment plays a strong role.
Maybe. Stone and Bone is flexible enough to be set elsewhere away from Prax, and there is advice and suggestions to help the Game Master adapt the scenario to her campaign, although she will have to provide the specifics.

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